What is "Curiosity" cat bait and why you should care. Article #2

January 7, 2017

There's millions to be made in manufacturing mammal poison. See the progress of Curiosity cat bait to market.

Also: What is Curiosity cat bait and why you should care. Article #1 (which includes includes background) here.
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Update January 2017

Saving Pets blog post - Australian government’s cat population estimates out by tens of millions

Also, something goes wrong with the commercialisation process.

The Curiosity® bait for feral cats has been a long-term $4.1 million project to develop a humane, broad-scale toxic bait to control feral cats in conservation areas.

The Request for Expressions of Interest process for the commercialisation of Curiosity® bait for feral cats has been terminated. The Department intends to initiate a new approach to market process for the commercialisation of the Curiosity® bait next year. The details of any new process will be provided on the Department's feral cats page.

Australian Government Department of the Environment and Energy website
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Update November 2016

Australian government needs new cat-poison manufacturer. Did original partner pull out when ‘antidote’ found to be a fake? Pets will die #liability 
Original link: http://buff.ly/2expSym

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Update October 2016

Forget murder conspiracy: crows the probable culprit in 30 dog deaths

“Crows have been known to pick up and move a 1080 bait on occasion but regurgitation of 1080 meat bait hasn’t been a reported issue in the past in WA,” a departmental spokeswoman said.At his home on the edge of Laverton, 78-year-old Mr Long says he has nice memories of playing ball with Bear every morning. “I miss him,” he said.


But this is not new, news. In May of 2015, researchers in Western Australia found most baits were moved by corvids (crows); more than were moved/eaten by cats. In this case, Eradicat baits which are similar to Curiosity, but whose active ingredient is 1080.

Over two years, 1500 baits were laid once annually… during bait uptake trials, corvids removed the most number of baits, followed by cats and varanids.~ Study: Response of feral cats to a track-based baiting programme using Eradicat® baits (ref)
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Update August 2016

Can you help the government markets their cat poisons in a positive way on teh Facebooks? Generous salary offered ($110k) on the back of huge upcoming national baiting program...


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Update June 2016

Antidote turns out to be not what was claimed. Who cares dead pets.... proceed as planned.

We feel that, given the initial publicity around the antidote and a widely held conception that it was cheap, readily available and effective, that it is necessary to better explain the strengths and weakness, now that we have a better understanding of the IA-CRC work and the implications from the testing results.

Animal Control Technologies website
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Update March 2016

Remember when major animal welfare groups failed to and/or refused to stand up for unowned, semi-owned and free-roaming cats?

So that's turned out well.

This morning a local council pound was given a “shout out” for their good work by a politician from the Australian National Government. Exciting, right?

Was it because of this pound’s work doing their job and saving the lives of our pets?


It was the national Threatened Species Commissioner celebrating a pound who has a perfect kill rate - 100% of the 2,000 cats they impounded in 4 years, ended up dead.

So we know this council is big on killing, but just what are the conditions like at this pound that Threatened Species Commissioner Gregory Andrews gives FIVE GOLD STARS.

"The Griffith City Council Animal Pound (the Pound) located in Duchatel Road was established some years ago and has received minimal maintenance or improvement funding since then. The Pound consistently handles over one thousand dogs or cats per year.The Griffith Pound Facility is an old facility. In some areas it does not comply with what is required by the NSW Animal Welfare Code of Practice No 5 – Dogs and Cats in Animal Boarding Establishments. Existing buildings are in a dilapidated state and pose risks to health, safety, security and compliance with regulations of the keeping of animals. Holding pens are all exposed to extremes of heat and cold. There is one disposal chute and enclosure for cats... cats are not able to be segregated within the enclosure, so it is often the case 'feral' cats are housed with domesticated cats."~ Griffith Council Report (2015) on pound conditions

When hundreds of cats are processed, and NONE of them leave alive, it is almost guaranteed that pet cats are being slaughtered as well. We've seen time and time again, when animals are being destroyed in wholesale numbers, the respect and care for them falls away and abuse and neglect becomes the norm.

However, what is really horrifying, is rather than condemn this mistreatment and these conditions, Gregory Andrews has held this Council up as a role-model to others. 

In his words;

"... special thanks to Griffith City Council and its employees..... with over 560 local government bodies across Australia, a combined national effort across all local governments could achieve a very large, long-lasting and positive impact..."

It's easy to dismiss a rural pound as backward and the level of callousness unique, but the Australian Government is working hard to ensure ALL pounds are operating in this appalling and sickening fashion. The writing is on the wall. You must fight for compassion and caring for pets, as neglect and death is government approved.

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Update February 2016

Councils continue to expand cat trapping programs. Animal shelters blame 'global warming' for rises in cat intakes.

These major cat 'advoacy' groups seem to be oblivious to how damaging the 'overrun with cats' rhetoric is when we have a national government keen to carpet bomb the country with cat poison. With friends like these...

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Update January 2016

More than 50% of pet cats at risk of death - why aren't major cat groups speaking out about this? #protectcats

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Update December 2015

Why pest control companies love when rescues conflate pet desexing programs with 'feral' cat control....

Pest control - specifically 'feral' and free roaming cat control - has recently been given an enormous financial boost. With the national Threatened Species Commissioner announcing a plan to poison 2 million cats, (and knowing that research has shown as few as 1 in 100 baits are taken by the target species - http://ab.co/1QQLUh0), a market for 200 million baits (at least) has suddenly materialised. 

We're talking serious cash.

It has been recognised that pet cats will be unavoidably, accidentally poisoned in the process, with Environment Minister WA Albert Jacob saying dead pets "was a risk he was prepared to take" (http://bit.ly/1OSLL6x) and @TSCommissioner blaming owners for any pet dogs who are harmed, even in public places (http://bit.ly/1PrTKvY).

So how does a company who manufacturers cat bait to poison Australia's second favourite animal, make themselves seem warm and fuzzy (pun intended)? Co-opt animal rescue!

This is PestSmartCRC - manufacturer of Eradicat (1080 laced kangaroo meat) and Curiosity (active ingredient a new, broad-spectrum poison PAPP). They haven't only thrown their support behind a rescue group doing outreach desexing for owned cats, they've cheekily 'ping' tagged them.

PestSmartCRC love rescue, because rescue like to use the compelling - if logically and biologically incorrect - argument, that helping cat owners access cat desexing surgeries, reduces the unowned and 'feral' cat populations. (Even with millions of unowned cats breeding unchecked, we LOVE to blame cat owners for all our 'problems').

And rescue's self-important positioning has been relatively harmless, until now.

By allowing pest control agencies to hijack our message and divide cats into two populations: - owned cats who 'deserve' protection and- unowned cats who are not worthy of care and consideration... we are playing an extremely dangerous game. That is, we *know* these pest organisations don't respect our pets - they've said so themselves. And granted full, supported authorisation to kill all the 'other' cats, we may have eroded our cause beyond recovery. They're coming for cats and they're motivated by the millions of dollars available to produce poisons to kill them. It's time for cat groups to stand up and fight for ALL cats. Because if pest poison companies are on our side, we're doing something terribly wrong.

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Update December 2015

Our Threatened Species Commissioner maintains that the mammal poison that he is advocating isn't 'toxic' like other nasty poisons... his is a non-toxic poison. For real.

I mean, it will kill the shit out of your dog and cat, but don't worry - says the poisons manufacturer commenting on the thread - there is an antidote!

Except, this new humane, non-toxic poison (yes, really) begins to work 15 times faster than 1080! That is touted one of the so-called humane benefits. And if you can get your pet to the vet in time, you'll then find the 'antidote' is only moderately successful (http://on.fb.me/1O2H3Te)

But the scariest bit - knowing that the PAPP manufactures have been lobbying for more than a decade to have PAPP categorised as an over-the-counter product like drain cleaner (http://on.fb.me/1O2H3Te) and that on this very thread they are in the public domain advocating for its use in urban areas.


- made of ground up kangaroo 
- tested on shelter cats
- killing goannas
- and making our dingoes extinct

This is Threatened Species Commissioner's new 'humane' poison.

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Update July 2015

Our government is licensing brand-named cat poison, made from ground-up native animal meat, and testing it for palatability at local cat shelters. Honestly, you couldn't make this shit up...

"There are two poison bait products intended for the management of feral cat populations in Australia. When the bait medium (pH 5-6) is dosed with sodium monofluoroacetate (compound 1080), the bait product is known as Eradicat®. When the above bait medium is... dosed with para-aminopropiophenone (PAPP) it is known as Curiosity®. Eradicat and Curiosity are registered trademarks of the Western Australian and Commonwealth governments respectively. A number of cafeteria pen trials have been conducted to test for differences in acceptability of the two bait mediums. These pen trials were conducted at the Perth Cat Haven that provided an opportunity to work with essentially semi-feral cats rather than domestic cats in catteries. Cats in the Haven were housed in individual cages. The cats were offered a choice of the two non-toxic bait mediums. The baits were randomly placed, approximately 20 cm apart. Bait preference was assessed by the medium first selected and consumed by an individual. A total of 43 cats consumed at least one bait..."Full report: http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/invasive-species/publications/field-trial-compare-baiting-efficacy-eradicat-and-curiosity-baits
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Update July 2015

When the government says pets 'won't' be harmed by baiting, what they mean to say is that they don't care that pets will be harmed by baiting... pets are ALREADY being poisoned.

The West Australian July 2015
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Update July 2015

PAPP poison 'Curiosity' chicken-sausage baits (ABC)

The Invasive Animals Cooperative Research Centre (IACRC), Australian Wool Innovation and Animal Control Technologies Australia (ACTA) have made, in their words... “a significant R&D investment”... to register PAPP - paraaminopropiophenone - as a poison for unwanted animals, namely dogs and foxes.

However, the PAPP poison still hasn’t been approved for use, despite the companies spending nearly a decade trying to prove its suitability.

A May 2015 update from the manufacturer reported:

“… it was recommended to the Drugs & Poisons Scheduling Committee (who look at the risks of any new chemical active) that PAPP should be S7 in all dose forms. … Accordingly ACTA and the IACRC have made submissions to have the baits as S6 and the concentrate as S7.”

Which for your info, is the difference between a ‘Schedule 6 - Poison’ and a ‘Schedule 7 - Dangerous Poison’ under the TGA.

S6 poisons are described as “... substances with a moderate potential for causing harm, the extent of which can be reduced through the use of distinctive packaging with strong warnings and safety directions on the label” and include products like ammonia, pool chlorine and caustic soda (drain cleaner).

S7 poisons require special regulations restricting their availability, possession or use and are deemed too hazardous for domestic use. Users of the product will need specialised training.

You can see why a manufacturer would want to avoid an S7 label on their product.

So if we’re going to be selling these baits alongside common household chemicals, how safe are they for pets and people?

It's ok - it's humane!

The PAPP bait is being touted as a more ‘humane’ poison and the range is now being expanded and rebranded as Curiosity® to target cats.

Once it is eaten and absorbed into the bloodstream, PAPP works by converting normal haemoglobin in red blood cells to methaemoglobin, which cannot carry oxygen to the heart muscles and brain. Death after a lethal dose usually occurs within 1-2 hours after eating bait with clinical signs first appearing in 10 to 20 mins.

Manufacturers claim affected animals become 'sleepy' before quickly becoming unresponsive and dying. That is, they claim animals simply... quietly drift off to dream land. Yeah, not so much.

According to veterinary literature, the symptoms of PAPP poisoning include;

  • nausea & vomiting
  • (behavioural) depression
  • exercise intolerance
  • elevated respiratory rate
  • elevated heart rate
  • incoordination
  • tremors and,
  • haemorrhage from body orifices

Which could roughly described as ‘an animal experiencing the ordeal of being poisoned to death’ and certainly not anything we would want to happen to our own pets.

It's ok - we have an antidote!

The manufacturers reassure us that in event of accidental poisoning, that we can simply use the antidote - Methylene Blue - with “... full recovery usually occurring within 1hr”.

But veterinary literature - again - not so rosy:

“... Decontamination of the gastrointestinal tract is unlikely to be effective given the rapid absorption of PAPP. Supplemental oxygen is recommended. Methylene blue is the first line antidote, but should be used with caution, if at all; many consider this therapy unsuitable for cats. Whole blood transfusion is recommended. Prognosis in accidentally poisoned domestic species is likely to be ‘guarded’.”

Pets who ingest this poison either accidentally, or through foul play are at extreme risk of death. If the pet is a cat, it is almost certainly dead.

In conclusion; the manufacturers of this poison are doing their very best to bring the product to market to kill dogs and foxes; immediately expand that market to include cats; reduce the restrictions around the product’s access and distribution; and finally, they are being let’s say - extremely optimistic - about the chances of any pet accidentally poisoned being given an ‘antidote’ and recovering after the fact.

Manufacturing poisons is a multi-billion dollar industry. We owe it to our future selves to ensure that access to these poisons are limited, and their use is restricted. Protecting our pets and families should absolutely be paramount.

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